Venezia is a comic book series created by British writer Wolf Beaumont which launched last year – and raising funds for the production of Issue 3, the latest stage in this crowdfunding-backed publishing project, launched earlier today.
The series is set in 16th century Italy and tells a story of a daughter’s revenge as a masked assassin, after the brutal murder of her family. As she seeks to bring those who killed her family to a painful end, she makes new allies and enemies in a plot that thickens with every page.
Lovingly pencilled and inked by Brian McCranie, Venezia is a rich tapestry filled with incredible detail, Wolf hopes brings to life the heart of the renaissance revolution, creating a rich and powerful story in a world we’ve rarely seen before.
With two issues released (and two very fine books they are, too), the team have again turned to Kickstarter to fund Issue 3, as the female assassin appears on the streets of Venice, Italy. Death follows in her every wake – but who is she, and what does she want?
Told against an action packed backdrop of revenge, murder and violence, the comic explores the protagonist’s fragile identity and her internal conflict with the ghosts of her past.
With a cover from Pierluigi Abbondanza, Issue 3 will contains 22 pages of story written and created by Wolf, pencilled and inked by Brian, coloured by J.M. Ringuet and lettered by E.T. Dollman, who is also the book’s editor.
JM Ringuet spent some years in the videogame industry as a concept artist and 3D artist before coming back to his true roots and passion: sequential storytelling. He has been published by Image (Transhuman, Hoax Hunters) and has moved to writing and art on his own series Repossessed, also published by Image and Comixology.
Cover artist Pierluigi is a freelance illustrator who’s created the cover for Malison Rogue’s debut album, as well as the covers for comics like The Nether World and books like Le Storie di Omnia“. His work has also been published on Exposè 10 by Ballistic Publishing, Tribute to World of Warcraft by Udon, and many other illustration books. He’s also worked for Applibot, creating art for their card games.
Although originally from the UK, Wolf has spent much of his life traveling around the world to the likes of Norway, China, Costa Rica and Italy. Strangely, the idea for Venezia did not come to him during his two years there, but in Solvakia, where he first began to develop the concept for a TV show of four seasons, which he hoped to script a pilot for. But then the project was put to one side, for three years, until he decided to make the tale a graphic novel while in Naples. Structuring out the story he planned for four books, he began scripting the first issue.
The script was first drafted in May 2012 and soon after, Wolf ran a submission contest to find tbe right penciller who could bring Venezia to life, with Brian McCranie soon becoming the obvious choice. Later that summer, Wolf returned to the UK, working with Brian on the story.
Influenced by HR Giger and James O’Barr, among others, Brian McCranie’s sequential art and covers have appeared in numerous independent print and web comics, graphic novels and literary fiction publications. He especially enjoys working in the horror, fantasy, and sci-fi genres as well as noir fiction, super hero and action comics.
“As a team, we were able to complete issue one with our personal savings,” explains Wolf. “We then ran a kickstarter campaign to promote the book and raise enough money to do the preview above for Issue 2. This was also a great opportunity for us to test Kickstarter as a platform and learn valuable lessons with a modest goal.
“Our second kickstarter focused on raising enough money to fully develop Issue 2,” he continues. “We succeeded, but we made mistakes with regards to how much we would need for print rewards. We’ve worked hard over the last six months to rectify those mistakes and learn from them, with the result being our first full length book completed and delivered to all backers.
Gaining full funding to pay the creative team is vital to Wolf. “Our art team are industry professionals and we pay them a fair commission per page,” he explains.
£3500 will fully fund the books production and cover print and shipping costs of all rewards. Once issue 3 is completed, the team then need to raise enough money for a new cover to go on their trade paperback of issues 1-3, which will cost £250.
Further ahead, Wolf hopes to secure enough funds to continue the story. “Venezia has always been a four volume project, and with the completion of Issue 3 we will be halfway through the first volume’s production (which consists of 6 issues),” he explains. “Each issue here on out will cost £3500 to produce, print and ship. So if our kickstarter hits £6750 we get issue 4 on the rewards list, £9750 issue 5, £12750 issue 6, £13000 trade paperback of issues 4-6 and ultimately £15000 for the hardback of issues 1-3.”
Judging from the art samples and story so far – some sample pages from Issue 2 below – this is an ambitious project from a good team of creators who’ve thought hard about how to crowdfund the project and learnt from past experience in terms of pitching the project to prospective backers. Check it out over on Kickstarter and see what you think…